Study Tips: Active Reading

What is the diference between reading and active reading?

When you read a portion of a text, you are just reading the words on the page without the intent of understanding or evaluating it’s content. Whereas active reading means you are focused and determined to comprehend and asses the content being read.

This is easier said than done. I, for one, have found myself countless times reading a textbook to then find out I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was reading! Or even worse, I re-read the same sentence 3 or more times because I was too distracted!

It might not seem like a big deal, but these distractions pile up. At the end of the day, something that should’ve taken you 30 minutes to read took 1 hour because of distractions! If this keep happening you end up losing more time to distractions than you do actually studying.

So how do you actively read something?

You stay focused!

This depends on the person and their preferred study method. Personally I can’t focus without color. By this I mean different colored highlighters, pens, and pencils. Depending on what class I’m reading for, each color has a different meaning. Different colors help to differentiate information – yellow for general important information, orange for more specifics, green for clinical examples, etc.

In addition to highlighting the text, I also add small post it notes with flow charts or definitions pertaining to the text.

It things are really bad and I can’t seem to focus, I read out loud. Like this I force myself to hear my own voice and analyze what is being said.


I also try to avoid listening to music while I read. I’m very easily distracted, and if one of my favorite songs comes on you better believe I’m singing instead of reading.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know if these tips work for you, and any suggestions you might have!

○ peace, love, & obnpt ○FullSizeRender.jpg


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